The Cabinet approved a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in trade and services with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Objective: To promote the movement of Indian professionals in the 10-nation ASEAN. The Agreement on Investment would protect, promote and increase foreign investment flows into the country and also removes and barriers.
Note: The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (CECA) between India and ASEAN was signed in 2003. The Cabinet approved the Agreement on Trade Goods under the CECA with the ASEAN in July 2009.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) allowed state-owned CoalIndia Ltd (CIL) to pump methane gas trapped in coal beds of its existing mines. This move will open a new revenue stream for the world’s largest coal miner and help unlock several mines that have remained out of bounds because of the presence of the explosive gas that make mining unsafe.
Presently, rules and regulations prohibit mining firms from extracting Coal Bed Methane (CBM) during mining as the policy does not allow for simultaneous extraction of methane (CBM) and coal. Only those companies that successfully bid for mines with CBM are allowed to explore and produce such gas. The government auctioned 33 CBM blocks since 2001.
CIL holds at least 20% of the estimated 60 billion tones of coal resources in India. It has many coal mines in eight States that are estimated to have CBM reserves of 3.5-4 trillion cubic feet.
CCEA allowed RIL Higher Gas Prices in Lieu of Bank Guarantee
December 25, 2013
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) allowed Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) to sell natural gas at the revised doubled price from April, 2014 provided the firm gave a bank guarantee.
The contractor would be allowed to sell D1 and D3 (fields) gas at revised prices from April 1, 2014. The sale would be permitted on the basis of a bank guarantee by RIL in favor of the government.
The bank guarantee (around $9 billion )will be encashed if it is proved that the company stored gas or deliberately put down production at the main Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1 and D3) fields in the eastern offshore KG-D6 block.
Note: The new gas pricing formula will be applicable to all producers and all forms of gas including Coal-Bed Methane (CBM) and shale gas.
Defense Ministry clears procurement proposals worth over Rs 16000 cr
December 27, 2013
The Defense Ministry cleared procurement proposals worth over Rs.16, 000 crore including that of Israeli Barak missiles. The Ministry had put on hold procurement of Barak-I missiles because of a CBI probe in the case since 2006. The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defense minister AK Antony approved the proposal. The proposal is for
Acquiring two deep submarine rescue vessels for the Navy while approving the indigenous construction of the 16 anti-submarine warfare shallow water craft at the cost of Rs.13,000 crore.
262 Barak-I missiles worth Rs.880 crore, which are expected to be put on the aircraft carrier INS Virat and picked out air defense system for the new aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
Aquiring 41 indigenously-built Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruvs, for the Army.
Michiaki Takahasi: Developer of chickenpox vaccine passed away
December 27, 2013
Dr. Michiaki Takahashi (85), a Japanese virologist, who developed a vaccine for the chicken pox virus passed away. Dr. Takahashi developed his vaccine by growing live but weakened versions of the virus in animal and human cells. The disease was not sourced by the vaccine, but the vaccine encouraged immune system to create antibodies. Thus, it fools the immune system into thinking that it has seen this disease before.
About Chicken Pox
Caused by the Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV) which is a form of herpes.
Highly contagious disease that is spread via contact with infected person.
It’s most common in kids under age 12, but anyone can get chickenpox.
Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, a form of herpes. If a person contracts the virus, has an active infection and then recovers, the virus is not actually gone from the body. It can hide in nerve cells for years or decades, then emerge again to cause shingles, a painful condition that causes a skin rash and occurs mostly in adults.